2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
- Winter-Spring 2021
What to expect
- Turbocharged inline-six with mild hybrid tech replaces supercharged V6
- New infotainment system
- New tech additions, including revised Activity Key
- Part of the first Range Rover Velar generation introduced for 2018
What is the Range Rover Velar?
The 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar is a small luxury SUV that is more unconventional than its cumbersome name suggests. Along with its smaller sibling, the Range Rover Evoque, the Velar belongs to the part of the Land Rover portfolio that is primarily concerned with on-road performance rather than off-road dominance. Yet, despite its eye-catching design, a number of drawbacks have prevented the Range Rover Velar — which came out for 2018 — from excelling in its class.
For 2021, the Velar receives several updates that should improve this chic SUV in more ways than one. Last year's optional supercharged V6 is replaced by a turbocharged inline-six that uses a mild hybrid system for improved acceleration and more seamless operation of the fuel-saving engine stop-start system. But we're most excited about the new infotainment system. Called Pivi Pro, it promises to be better than the outgoing interface in almost every way.
What's under the Range Rover Velar's hood?
The Range Rover Velar's base engine continues to be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 247 horsepower. The previous supercharged V6 is swapped out for a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six augmented by an auxiliary compressor driven by a 48-volt electrical system. It comes in two states of tune: 335 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque in the S and R-Dynamic S models, and 395 hp and 405 lb-ft for the R-Dynamic HSE. Land Rover estimates the R-Dynamic HSE can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, which is a tenth of a second quicker than a Velar with the most powerful V6 from last year. Unfortunately, the truly impressive SVAutobiogprahy, with its supercharged V8, is no longer available.
How's the Range Rover Velar's interior
Step inside the Range Rover Velar and the first thing you'll notice is an absence of any immediately recognizable controls or iconography. That's because everything from the steering wheel buttons to the instrument panel and center stack is either backlit or a screen — seeing everything illuminate on vehicle startup is an entertaining piece of theater. Everything else, from the wood veneers to the supple leather, emanates a sense of quality. The Velar is more expensive than others in its class, but one moment behind the driver's seat will prove that the higher price tag is justified.
Though the Range Rover Velar sports a sleek roofline enjoyed by the current crop of so-called coupe SUVs, it's actually quite usable inside. Even models equipped with the panoramic sunroof have plenty of headroom, and there's good legroom too. It might be a fashion statement as much as it is an SUV, but the Velar doesn't sacrifice comfort to accomplish its goals.
How's the Range Rover Velar's tech?
We've never been overly impressed with Land Rover's touchscreen interfaces — every subsequent revision seems to both improve and worsen the one that came before. Will the Pivi Pro system finally break the Land Rover curse? It certainly looks like it's capable of doing so.
New hardware behind the scenes ensures the new Pivi Pro system will boot up shortly after the car is turned on, negating the slow startup we've noticed in previous Land Rover systems. Hopefully this also translates to quicker responses to user inputs — another point of frequent frustration in the current model. Pivi Pro is also internet-connected and can download software updates over the air.
Other enhancements for the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar include active noise cancellation for intrusive road frequencies, a more advanced air purification system, and a second-generation wearable Activity Key, which enables remote locking/unlocking and remote start. And with it, you'll no longer be required to place the key fob inside when you leave the car. A 360-degree bird's-eye camera system is now standard on all Velar models.
If you're in the market for a Land Rover Range Rover Velar, wait until the 2021 model debuts. The new infotainment system should prove to be a massive improvement. We're also looking forward to the improved acceleration and fuel efficiency of the new turbocharged six-cylinder engine.